Clutha victim Gary's final journey

PAISLEY stood still as Clutha victim Gary Arthur was laid to rest.

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Police  motorcycle outriders escort the funeral cortege for Gary Arthur through the streets of Paisley to Woodside Crematorium.  Pictures: Martin Shields
Police motorcycle outriders escort the funeral cortege for Gary Arthur through the streets of Paisley to Woodside Crematorium. Pictures: Martin Shields

Traffic ground to a halt as the 48-year-old was carried on his final journey through the Renfrewshire town.

Flanked by six police motor-cycle outriders, his funeral cortege slowly made its way to the Woodside Crematorium for a humanist service.

His hearse carried simple wreaths in white crystanthenums in each window reading "Dad, Uncle, Gary and Son."

Mr Arthur had been the first of nine victims named after a police helicopter crashed in to the legendary pub and music venue on November 29.

In a statement released ahead of the funeral, Mr Arthur's family said: "We loved him dearly and always will, we will miss him so much.

"We will continue to make him proud.

"He always tried to do his best for us and to be there for us. He was the best dad and it's devastating that he has been taken from us in such a tragic way."

Mr Arthur's daughter Chloe, who plays football for Celtic and Scotland, previously took to Twitter to pay tribute to him.

She said: "RIP dad. You'll always mean the world to me, I promise to do you proud, I love you with all my heart."

Later she added: "I think people are forgetting my dad has a son too, not just a daughter" and "Thanks to everyone who has tweeted me, texted me etc; Means so much; I have the most amazing friends ever."

Some 100 people, including Peter Lawwell, chief executive of Celtic football club, and Gordon Matheson, the leader of Glasgow City Council, crowded in to the hall of remembrance at the crematorium.

Twice as many again are understood to have gathered outside.

Celtic women's team Manager David Haley said: "This is devastating for Chloe and her family.

"It is a tragedy that Chloe's father was one of innocent victims -he was regularly seen at our matches, watching his daughter.

"Chloe and her family have the full support of everyone at Celtic and across the women's game."

Mr Arthur's funeral followed that of fellow reveller Mark O'Prey earlier yesterday and the helicopter's pilot, Captain David Traill on Saturday. Today two more Clutha victims will be laid to rest, including the first of the two police officers who were aboard the helicopter.

Constable Tony Collins will be buried in Lamlash Cemetery on the island of Arran.

Later John McGarrigle, who had been in the bar, will be laid to rest in Castlemilk.

Mr McGarrigle's son - also John - spent an agonising day at the crash site after the accident, fearing the worst for his father.


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